The Trudeau Economy: Smoke & Mirrors

It was rather surprising, several months ago, when Statistics Canada released their Labour Force Survey for 2021 and it showed record job growth. During a pandemic that saw Canada's federal and provincial governments adopt some of the harshest lockdowns and other restrictions in the western world? How?

Well, a new study by the Frasier Institute goes pretty far towards answering that question. The report, "Comparing Government and Private Sector Job Growth in the Covid-19 Era," found that more than 86 percent of those new jobs were in the public sector. Overall, government employment increased by 9.4 percent. Meanwhile, private sector employment remained essentially flat. “Pretty much all of the net job growth, since the start of the pandemic, has been driven by growth in the government sector,” said the study's co-author, Ben Eisen.

In their write-up on the paper, the National Post further notes that, "adjusted for population growth, the share of workers 15 years old and up employed in the private sector also saw a decline, from 49.3 percent to 48.2 percent."

The government added 366,800 new jobs during the Covid-19 pandemic, the report says, while the private sector was only responsible for adding 56,100.

Now, many government jobs are necessary for the functioning of modern, first-world nations. But, in general, they add no value to a nation's economy. When close to 90 percent of a nation's job growth—366,800 new jobs to 56,100—is in the public sector, that nation's economy is in a dangerously sclerotic state.

So, why has Trudeau gone to war with farmers and the natural-resource and energy sectors, again?

Diary of an Acclimatised Beauty: Mourning

We’ve lost our beloved Queen and no amount of wishing is going to change that. And it’s what we all feared when her Platinum Jubilee was held at 70 years rather than 75. Judith (mummy) has been crying off and on since we got the news and I’ve done my best to keep from further upsetting her. I didn’t expect to find myself at my childhood home in St John’s Wood on this day but if I’m honest, I really did expect Elizabeth's reign to continue on forever. As Daddy said, we’ve known nothing else. She was queen when I was born in British Hong Kong and when my grandmother was said to have tucked a small framed photo of HRH into my pram.  

Daddy has taken Judith to tea nearly every day, which has stopped her from watching the telly nonstop, and bracing when she sees Camilla. In the end I’m sure she’ll come round but for now she won’t accept Charles as our sovereign. Given how many have rung to ask her to clarify the rule, I believe she’s not alone. Canada, which still has the queen on its currency, opposes Charles succeeding his mother by 67 percent. A rather inauspicious start for the prince who has so valiantly fought for our planet.

At your service, Ma'am.

Walking back from my first (and last) British Military Fitness Class I couldn’t help but notice a sea of brightly coloured cellophane. We were told it would not be the miles of flowers we saw at Diana’s death and that arrangements would be ‘sensitively moved’ to Green Park, but what they hadn’t addressed was the impact on our landfill. And in response I quickly organised tables with stewards to remove the plastic wrap so that the flowers could more easily be composted and replanted. I felt the queen would have wanted no less, and as we transition to a green-minded king, it was the thing to do. 

I would have volunteered myself but I’d promised to take over tea-duty with Judith for today. She was in black of course and immediately told me that her single brooch was in good taste— having been her mother’s. And again reminded me that, ‘Your grandmother and the Queen were of an age’. As if I could possibly be allowed to forget. She also warned me that she wouldn’t be able to eat a thing. A warning that became less credible after devouring two plates of sandwiches.

We didn’t see anyone she knew but then one rarely does. And I was sure everyone she knew was still ringing the house to discuss the title of Queen Consort and dashed hopes of a morganatic marriage. Yet somehow, this was not an appropriate topic for our tea. Or so she said. I wanted to keep her mind away from her sadness but not so far away as to have to hear what I knew was coming:

‘Now Jennifer’ she began.  UGH! I motioned for another glass of champagne. ‘You do understand that once King… Charles can no longer involve himself in all your pet green projects’.

‘I thought you were putting a stop to that’ I responded.

‘I just thought it right, that someone say something to you—to break the news’.

‘That the Queen has died?’ I asked.

Take my hand, Mum. It will be all right.

She found that remark uncalled for and perhaps she was right but she really could be a pain, and this outing was for her benefit. The last thing I wanted right now was to be sitting for tea when I’d learned mourners were now leaving Paddington bears and marmalade sandwiches WRAPPED IN PLASTIC for the queen.  

For a moment I wondered if Judith had read the note I penned to the new King Charles, urging him not to drop all of our good works, and to continue to be a defender of the planet, but in the end I think she was just trying to be a mother for a change.  In my letter to Charles I’d reminded him that he was possibly the most significant environmental figure of all time, and that he could not abandon Terra Carta… no matter anything! As prince he could act as a one-person NGO, but as king he would be constrained by the convention that the monarch should not interfere in the U.K.’s political decision-making, or take any overt political stance. I reminded him that the environment isn’t politics, it's life. 

Many people feel that as Prince, Charles overstepped the bounds of constitutional monarchy, including his blistering attack on corporate vested interests.  But it has always been understood that this freedom would end as soon as he took the crown. So I believe it is important that he re-brand his stance—not as one of advocacy, but one of responsibility. Less focus on agenda, and more on serving the best interests of the country.

God save the king.

I explained that we have evolved as a country, and in time I believe he will be able to continue his lobbying at the highest political level, as he has done rather effectively with his black spider letters. And as the Tories have always been the conservators of the land there should be no risk of his agenda being seen as partisan or political… simply important. During his confidential weekly meetings with the Prime Minister he will be able to air his concerns over the environment and world climate.

When I got home Daddy handed me the paper, the headline read: 'World leaders to travel to Funeral by bus, commercial plane'. Surely he could not be serious. This was a mistake. ‘NO!’ I shrieked. 

‘I thought you’d be happy to see this—it’s the green solution, smaller carbon footprint and all that’, Daddy said smirking.

Ugh! How does he not get this? Along with world leaders we are the ones saving the planet. We are the ones taking up this very important task. In the same way that failing corporations must pay more to attract top talent… we certainly should not be punished or dissuaded by making us fly commercial. 

Another Win for the Freedom Convoy

The Conservative Party of Canada have a new leader: Pierre Poilievre, Member of Parliament for Carleton, Ontario.

Unlike in the previous two C.P.C. leadership elections, Poilievre's margin of victory wasn't at all close -- he won 70.7 percent of the vote, compared with 11.6 percent for his nearest rival, former Quebec premier and Red Tory net-zero enthusiast, Jean Charest. He dominated in every province and territory -- his worst showing was in Charest's home province of Quebec, and even there Poilievre won 62 percent of available points to Charest's 32 percent. In the Conservative strongholds of Alberta and Saskatchewan, he won close to 80 percent. The Writ's Éric Grenier comments,

It’s an emphatic victory for Poilievre with few signs of regional weaknesses. In 2004, Harper failed to win Quebec and Atlantic Canada. In 2017, Scheer was second in Quebec and Alberta. In 2020, O’Toole was beaten in the Maritimes. But in 2022, Poilievre won everywhere.

Poilievre's rise can be attributed in large part to the same force which brought down Erin O'Toole, namely the Freedom Convoy. As we wrote at the time of his ouster,

[O'Toole's] feeble response to the Freedom Convoy has encapsulated his problems these past several months, at once desperate to hold onto power and terrified of offending the sensibilities of, well, Liberal voters. For the first time since he became leader, there was energy on his side of the ideological spectrum, and Trudeau's Liberals were off balance. But O'Toole was anxious about being too supportive of what you might call the wrong sort of Canadians.

Poilievre, meanwhile, made himself the truckers' most visible supporter, publicly defending them against media attacks and taking part in their protests. Polling being what it was at the time (even if those polls weren't as straightforward as they appeared), that took real courage.

Most importantly for us at The Pipeline, Poilievre has consistently and vocally opposed the Trudeau government's anti-resource sector policies, pledging over and over again that, should he become prime minister, he would end the carbon tax and revive infrastructure projects like the Energy East and Northern Gateway pipelines which were cancelled under Trudeau. Moreover, he's promised to make Canada the “freest country in the world.”

And while we've heard sentiments like this before -- most recently from "True Blue" O'Toole -- the centrality of actual conservatism to Pierre Poilievre's political brand should give Conservative voters some reason for hope.

Will he succeed in any of this? Well, he would have to beat Trudeau first. And as things stand, beating Trudeau isn't a near-term possibility. The "supply and confidence" agreement between the N.D.P. and the Liberal Party will protect Trudeau from facing the voters until 2025. In the meantime Poilievre will set himself to the work of Opposition Leader, with the task of holding the government to account, something he already does quite well. Writing in the National Post before the leadership race was over, Rex Murphy said,

In what field does Poilievre labour? Why, in opposition, of course. In opposition to the Liberal-NDP consortium, that blunt, Commons-allergic, Emergencies Act-stampeding, insanely overspending, Alberta-hating quasi-coalition that now governs our sad country. That engine of the most grievous and rampant wokery, dilettantes on the world stage and social justice/environmentalist crusaders at home. From the Opposition benches, the few days Prime Minister Justin Trudeau opens the House of Commons to air it out and prevent the curtains from fading, one figure stands out, ready to pin the prime minister during question period, and in the most trenchant and incisive manner raise the dire threats of inflation and overspending. For a government that most sorely needs an opposition, Poilievre is the only truly Thermopylae warrior, the chief inquisitor and the one who clearly brings pain and anguish to the feeble front benches of the Trudeau government.

At the moment, that might be just what Canada needs. And if he does the job well, there's a good chance that he will be rewarded with a better one.

How Trudeau Sold Out Canada to Davos

We Canadians have had it too good for too long, and in Justin Trudeau we have a prime minister set to take advantage of our complacency. He is now “primed” to “minister” to those who would profit from our passivity and deference to authority by foreclosing on the social and political mortgage to our national home and reclaiming it for a consortium of oligarchs, technocrats and political activists known collectively as the Great Reset—the brainchild of the Davos elite at the World Economic Forum (WEF). The New World Order it envisions is, in effect, the Old World Order in contemporary guise, the ancien régime redivivus.

We could say that the First and Second Estates of the present day, comprising the privileged classes of bankers, judges, CEOs, plutocrats, political nomenklatura and assorted ideologues under the authority and direction of a virtual monarch, are transforming a democratic, free-market nation into the political fiefdom of a repressive aristocracy—otherwise known as a China-style Social Credit State. The tools and weapons at their disposal are merely the current version of the earlier and antiquated system of popular control. Vaccine mandates, travel apps, quarantine protocols, digital currencies and Digital Identity Programs replace edicts from the throne circulating on paper or vellum and do not rely on undercover agents or spies on horseback, but the end result is the same.

The radical transformation going on in Canada today is ironically reminiscent in some ways of the events surrounding the French Revolution, in both its conduct and the precedent situation—minus the bloodshed, the parade of executions, and the enraged and violent multitudes, of course. Once allowance for context is accepted, the structural similarities with some of the excesses of the French revolt are quite remarkable. For example:

A Committee of Public Safety, which controlled the Revolutionary Tribunal, passed the Law of Suspects, according to which anyone suspected of resisting or criticizing the Revolution could be summarily arrested without proof of criminal behavior. Canada also has a Public Safety Agency responsible for national security, and it is not hesitant to act. The recent arrest and detention of Trucker Freedom Convoy organizers, such as Tamara Lich, to take one notorious instance, on the flimsiest grounds of public mischief, is straight out of the Law of Suspects.

If it was good enough for Danton...

The executions in the bloodiest days of the Revolution had become a daily diversion, with crowds of onlookers enjoying the spectacle. In the current circumstances, the media—press and platform—have whipped up mesmerizing and largely fraudulent accounts of misdemeanours and potential crimes that were said to occur during the Trucker protest. Events were sensationalized for a rapt and fascinated public, many if not most of whom cheered on the brutal and illegal putdown of the Truckers, their families and their supporters. The mob is the mob whether in the Place de Grève or on Twitter.

During the six years of the Revolution, from 1789 to 1795, Christians were particularly targeted for prosecution, nonjuring clergy arrested and stripped of their livings, and Christian churches regularly defiled. Over the last few years in this country, Justin Trudeau (and his provincial counterparts) had no problem presiding over the burning of churches and the jailing of pastors.

Respectable citizens in Paris and in lesser cities, known as the Septembrists, joined in the orgy of bloodshed in support of the Revolutionary councils. In the context of the Covid pandemic, respectable citizens became snitches and collaborators and reveled in shunning, denouncing and punishing the unvaccinated, joining in the government campaign to vilify and exclude from public life those who opposed its mandates. Perform a historical thought-experiment and we might find the majority of our citizens morally equivalent to the sans-culottes and their ilk, which is to say, equally indecent.

But the differences between the French Revolution and the Canadian exemplar are no less, if not more, dramatic. 

Spelled the same in French.

Paradoxically, the “Canadian Revolution” proceeds in a reverse direction from its predecessor, reproducing the conditions that the Revolution struggled to correct and recruiting the public into the process of their own dispossession. Prior to 1789, the Third Estate (middle class, peasants, laborers) were overburdened with taxes in every department of life: taxes on income, land, property, transport, goods and comestibles, crops, salt, tobacco, wine, cider, you name it. Commoners were subject to autocratic rule. The parlements met only at checkered intervals. The nobles consumed most of the country’s wealth. The same is the case in contemporary Canada, as ordinary citizens are loaded down with crushing taxes on products and services, face food and fuel shortages, can expect no respite from an oft-prorogued parliament, and grapple to meet the inflationary costs for the necessities of life, while wealth accrues in the hands of large corporations and financial magnates. 

The irony is unmistakable. As the country undergoes a gradual but decisive transition—in effect, a tacit revolution—from a condition of democratic freedom and economic prosperity to demagogic rule and dwindling resources, nothing in the way of a popular revolt seems to be brewing, despite the hopeful assumptions of patriot thought-leaders. 

The prospect is forbidding: reduction of liberty to a pale simulacrum of what the country once enjoyed, enthronement of a soi-disant Bourbon wannabe who, like Louis XVI, was interested not in improving the lot of his people but in his own personal projects and empty-headed notions, and the creation of an autocratic regime paradoxically enabled by the public itself—a public in part indifferent and in part enthusiastic. One thinks of Benjamin Franklin’s famous remark. Leaving the Constitutional Convention in 1787, he was asked what sort of government the delegates had created. His answer: “A republic, if you can keep it.” We had a constitutional democracy, but we couldn’t keep it.

The depressing fact is that none of the ills befalling our nation, including the multiple electoral victories of the indisputably worst prime minister ever to desecrate the storied precinct of Parliament Hill, could not have occurred without the complicity of an approving or stupefied public—harsh words but true. Justin Trudeau and his associates in finance, public policy, media, the academy and the corporate world are the de facto spawn of an electorate that has allowed and materially advanced the descent of a favored and democratic country into the realm of looming economic collapse and mounting political tyranny. The general population is an accessory before, during and after the fact, having been made to see, in Jonathan Swift’s memorable words from his 1710 Examiner essay The Art of Political Lying, “their ruin in their interest and their interest in their ruin.” This may explain why more and more Canadians, those who are aware of the imminent crisis and cannot tolerate the specter of encroaching despotism, are leaving the country for, shall we say, freer pastures.

The government and the majority of the people are at one, which is the major difference between the two revolutions. When the people adopt an oppressive government’s beliefs and actions as their own, there is little chance of preserving our heritage. The French Revolution gave us the ringing motto Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité, and to some extent, following the Napoleonic interregnum, managed to achieve it. The slogan of the Canadian Revolution might well be "Servitude, Polarization, and Enmity," and it is in process of achieving it as we speak. Mutatis mutandis, the ancien régime is once again on the rise as Canada, in a historical parody of the French Revolution, slips back, perhaps irrevocably, into the pre-democratic past.

'The Lamps Are Going Out All Over Europe'

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was in Canada recently begging Justin Trudeau for Liquified Natural Gas. “Canada is our partner of choice,” said Scholz, adding “we hope that Canadian LNG will play a major role” in his country's attempt to wean itself off Russian energy.

Trudeau was characteristically dismissive, saying there has “never been a strong business case” for exporting Canadian LNG to Europe. Of course, he was also letting himself off the hook for his government's entrenched anti-resource-sector policies: Canada currently has not one single LNG active export terminal, and Canada's regulatory framework is responsible for the outright rejection of sixteen of the eighteen proposed terminal construction projects since Trudeau took power. In any event, Scholz had to content himself with a far less value hydrogen trade agreement.

Humiliating, but what else could he do? Beggars can't be choosers, and Germany is very much a beggar. As we've discussed before, Germany's mad environmentalist politicians pushed the country into transitioning to "renewable" energy sources which don't produce anywhere near the amount of power necessary to run a first world country, let alone the largest economy in Europe. The only way to make the transition "work" was to import large amounts of Russian gas to make up the difference. Now they're trying to break their reliance on that so as to comply with Western sanctions imposed in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and it isn't going well.

And Russia knows it -- that's why they've cut down natural gas flows to Germany by 60 percent, blaming mechanical problems while ostentatiously burning $10 million worth of natural gas per day at the mouth of the Nord Stream pipeline rather than sending it to Germany. It's their way of reminding the Germans who really needs whom. Putin can afford to cut them out because western sanctions have contributed to a worldwide energy scarcity, driving up prices significantly to nobody's benefit but Russia's.

The story is much the same throughout the continent -- in Poland people have been lining up in their cars for multiple days in the hopes of buying rationed coal to get them through the next several months (the E.U. has also embargoed Russian coal imports). The manager of Finland's power grid has begun telling the country to "prepare for shortages this winter." The British were recently informed that their heat and energy costs would increase by 80 percent as of October 1, and their national grid managers, too, have begun to talk more about shortages than cost.

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo recently said that Europe could be looking at ten years worth of tough winters, as far as heat and power were concerned. Dutch energy prices are currently sitting at "15 times the average for this time of the year," according to Bloomberg. Italy, which is also heavily dependent on Russian energy, is already on the brink of a debt crisis -- what will their economy look like after months of rolling black-outs, frozen pipes, and freezing people?

Sir Edward Grey in 1915: déjà vu vu all over again.

French President Emmanuel Macron speaking of the difficult months ahead, asked his countrymen to “accept paying the price for our freedom and our values,” referring to the cost of Europe's unreservedly supporting Ukraine in its conflict with Russia. Andrew Stuttaford rightly points out that "European voters are... entitled to wonder why they should continue to support politicians who left them so exposed to Russian blackmail in the first place." He's got that right -- this crisis has been brought about almost entirely by a western elite who cared more about rubbing elbows with Greta Thunberg and her comrades than about their national interests or the welfare of their countrymen.

It looks like they're about to get their reward.

The Netherlands, Sri Lanka, and... Canada?

Golly, this story out of Canada sounds so familiar:

Provincial agriculture ministers are expressing frustration with the Trudeau government over plans to effectively reduce fertilizer use by Canada’s farmers in the name of fighting climate change.... The federal government is looking to impose a requirement to reduce nitrous oxide emissions from fertilizers saying it is a greenhouse gas contributing to climate change.... The Trudeau government is demanding an absolute reduction in emissions, which farmers say will result in less food being produced at a time when the world can ill afford it.

Now where have we heard of similar government demands happening recently? Oh, well, in the Netherlands for one, where farmers in the world’s second-biggest agricultural exporter blocked roads and sprayed manure on government buildings after their environmentalist government attempted to force them to drastically cut their livestock numbers and sell their land to the government in order to cut emissions by 50 percent by the year 2030.

And then, of course, there was Sri Lanka, where President Gotabaya Rajapaksa enacted an almost-overnight ban on on pesticides and all synthetic fertilizers with the object of drastically reducing emissions and juicing his nation's ESG investment score. Well, "mission accomplished!" on that final point at least, but what came with that victory was an absolute disaster for Sri Lanka, with the nation's currency on the verge of collapse, with inflation running at around 112 percent, and devastation for the rice and tea harvests, the backbone of the nation's economy (and the Sri Lankan diet).

Let them eat bugs.

These are apparently the types of disorder that Justin Trudeau wants to import to Canada. Jordan Peterson made the same connection in his recent cri de coeur on the present state of his beloved homeland in the National Post:

How have Canadians failed to realize that our government holds them in contempt?... That the Trudeau Liberals are perfectly willing to make us all poor, miserable and demoralized just to utterly fail in their efforts to save the planet?... That we could be the freest, richest, cleanest country in the world but that we are trying hard to be none of those three?...

That all the data on the environmental front indicates that the fastest way to improve the ecosystems on which we all depend is to make people richer, not poorer (and to do that with good old capitalism) so they have the luxury to think about the long run and the habitat of their children?... Or that we are pursuing an energy policy generated by ideologues that will not only impoverish our populace by making energy unreasonably expensive... but that will only increase the probability that countries such as China will have to rely on coal to produce electricity instead of accessing, say, our plentiful natural gas. And that will therefore make the CO2 burden borne by the atmosphere greater instead of lesser.

And... (and in the aftermath of the Dutch farmer protests), that we are trying to reduce the absolute levels of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide produced by those who grow our food regardless of the amount of those crops produced in consequence. And that we’re doing that by threat and force — shades of Covid policy — instead of working with the farmers to find mutually acceptable and truly sustainable economic and environmental solutions.

Read the whole thing. Even if chances are slim to none that Justin Trudeau will do the same.

Hope Springs Infernal: Pawlowski, Lich, and Canadian 'Justice'

As with Monty Python’s Lancelot and Galahad, there was much rejoicing in the Conservative corner of this “nasty, sad country” over the recent Alberta appeals court victory of pastor Artur Pawlowski and his brother, Dawid. In a court injunction dated May 6, 2021, they were found guilty of disobeying a ban placed on so-called “illegal” protests—which is to say, they were guilty of abiding by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The drama naturally centers on the more famous pastor, who was jailed several times, and even “SWATted,” over the last two years for defying Canada’s blatantly illegal Covid dictatorship by continuing to serve his congregation, providing free meals to the poor, and preaching a message of hope to the Truckers’ movement in its protest against vaccine mandates.

As a result of the Appeals Court judgment, Alberta Health Services (AHS) is compelled to reimburse Pawlowski for all costs and fines levied, a small compensation for the outrageous treatment meted out to him, the harsh conditions of incarceration, house arrest, and restrictions on his Charter right of association.

Of course, the abuse Pawlowski suffered at the hands of Alberta’s Conservative premier Jason Kenney was not a single case. As LifeSite reports, “Under Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, many were fined and others jailed for fighting against his government’s draconian Covid rules, which severely impacted thousands of businesses.” Pawlowski, however, was among the most visible of the country’s dissidents against an out-of-control government and its camarilla of unelected judges and demagogic health authorities.

His victory and restitution are to be celebrated, but, as we will see, it is a modest triumph. It is not easy to parse the gnarled legalese of the Appeals Court document, but it is obvious that Pawloski’s and his brother’s vindication was only partial, the original judgment being “set aside” on a question of equivocal language rather than substance—that is, the initial judgment was reversed on a technicality. The drafting of the earlier proceedings apparently “created an ambiguity and potential confusion when the language identifying who is subject to the order refers to the prohibited conduct without clearly stating that all persons are subject to the injunction” (Article 56).

In other words, because the injunction “referred to other parties ‘acting independently to like effect’, so as to apply to the Pawlowskis,” the finding of contempt was dropped (Article 59)—though, as the panel of judges affirmed, “Without condoning the actions of the Pawlowskis” (Article 48). Exculpation, it seems, does not cancel guilt. 

Thus, deploying the verbose dialect of a privileged and exclusionary class, the panel members essentially practiced the art of weasel words to reverse an unpopular decision in order to maintain the endogenic fiction of juridical dignity. In effect, the court rendered a Pyrrhic judgment and the Pawlowskis evaded sentencing on the strength of a presumed ambiguity. 

 The war against justice, truth and democracy will continue to claim its victims. The federal authority brandished by Justin Trudeau has no intention of relenting in its campaign to silence and harass its targets. Artur Pawlowski has an equally noble, brave and persecuted peer in Tamara Lich, a soft-spoken, gentle and patriotic organizer of the Truckers Freedom Convoy. All of five feet tall, this amiable grandmother of Metis origin towers over the diminutive moral stature of a disreputable prime minister who, through his juridical lackeys, has had her twice imprisoned for her support of the Truckers and her legitimate contestation of tyrannical power. Forced to serve a jail sentence without bail, she was deliberately prevented from receiving in person the George Jonas Freedom Award at a ceremony held in her honor in the Vancouver suburb of Burnaby on July 13 of this year.

The event was addressed by the Honorable Brian Peckford, the last living signatory to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Canadian Constitution, in which he praised Tamara Lich as an honest, hard-working Canadian fighting for our rights and freedoms. “Need I cite that this latest arrest is most egregious in that everyone knew where Tamara was—in her home city of Medicine Hat, and yet a country wide warrant was issued for her arrest as if she was some kind of serial rapist or murderer. The tragic irony of it all makes Greek Tragedy look lame as a Freedom Award Winner is displayed as a practitioner of high treason.” 

Artur Pawlowski is free—for now—and Tamara Lich has just been released—also, for now. The federal court is not likely to experience the same qualms of dispensation as the Alberta court. Lich will be kept under strict surveillance. One false move, the slightest contravention of onerous bail conditions, and she will be quickly remanded. Phrases like “show trial” and “kangaroo court” come immediately to mind.

One thinks of Arthur Koestler’s Darkness at Noon as a premonition of the Sovietization of Canadian justice. Meanwhile, the unvaccinated are still subject to quarantine and crushing fines thanks to Trudeau’s infamous ArriveCAN app wielded against millions of Canadians. Legislation is in the works to cripple internet communication under the guise of preventing “hate speech,” shorthand for anything the government disapproves of. The violation of democratic principles is rapidly becoming synonymous with the law of the land. 

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As Brian Peckford said in his peroration, we are experiencing a dark day in our Constitutional history, “aided and abetted by a failed parliamentary system that obstructed justice [and] ignored the accusation of misogynists and racists levelled by the Prime Minister at some of his own citizens, and rendered the Members of Parliament mere instruments of abuse…making a mockery of the democratic principle of accountability.” Provincial courts in Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, and other jurisdictions were equally complicit in following the federal example. 

There may be rejoicing over the release of Artur Pawlowski and his brother, and now with respect to Tamara Lich, but there is no joy in Mudville as long as Justin Trudeau is in the batter’s box, and, unlike Casey in the famous poem, gives no indication of striking out.

Against the Great Reset: 'China, Covid-19, Realpolitik, and the Great Reset'

Continuing today, and for the next 15 weeks, The Pipeline will present excerpts from each of the essays contained in Against the Great Reset: 18 Theses Contra the New World Order, to be published on October 18 by Bombardier Books and distributed by Simon and Schuster, and available now for pre-order at the links. 

 

PART I: THE PROBLEM

Excerpt from "China, COVID-19, Realpolitik, and the Great Reset," By Douglas Murray

It is a good rule of thumb that one should become skeptical—and perhaps also concerned—whenever everyone in a position of authority starts to say the same thing. Particularly when they also all do so at the same time.

Such a moment arrived in 2020 when nearly every Western statesman, and a few others who might aspire to that role, began to use the phrase “Build Back Better.” Boris Johnson claimed that he might have used it first. Joe Biden seemed to believe that he had. But they were hardly the only people to use it from the early days of the Covid-19 crisis onwards. Almost overnight, it seemed as though absolutely everyone was using the same words. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said it down in New Zealand. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau used it in Canada. Bill Clinton used it as he was campaigning for Joe Biden. And the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, used it as he was campaigning for himself. Even minor royals could be heard parroting the same alliterative pleasantry. According to Prince Harry, speaking from his self-imposed exile in California, the Covid pandemic “undoubtedly” presents “an opportunity for us to work together and build back better.”

The prince is no stranger to political cliché, as he showed there, managing to pack in two of them into just half a sentence. Yet nor did people far more self-aware than him at any stage seem to realize that the phrase sounded strange in the first place, never mind that they should all also be using it at the same time. A year and a half after the phrase was first being used, President Joe Biden was still struggling to get his Build Back Better bill through the U.S. Senate. The phrase became so ubiquitous that almost no one in a position of power stopped to ask the question that ought surely to have loomed.

Why should a global pandemic be seen as simply an opportunity? In the immediate aftermath of the coronavirus leaking out from Wuhan, China, millions of people around the world died from the effects of contracting that virus. The global economy contracted at an unprecedented rate. Government borrowing soared to rates unknown outside of wartime in order to furlough millions of people who would otherwise have been destitute. Entire economies—including a U.S. economy that was roaring in an election year—were suddenly forced to a halt. None of this looked like a source of optimism. Ordinarily, the mass laying off of the workforce, the racking up of unprecedented peacetime debt, and the ordered shuttering away of the citizenry in their houses would be a source of concern and fury before it was a cause for optimism and opportunity.

But with only a couple of notable exceptions, during the Covid era, Western politicians skipped the rage stage. Indeed, they even skipped over the blame stage. Just as the WHO and other compromised international bodies failed to get to the roots of the source of the virus, so most Western politicians spent zero time or political capital on the question of why the virus had been unleashed on the world in the first place. Instead, they jumped straight to the question of just how much could be achieved by the unprecedented opportunity that the virus had allegedly gifted us.

Within a little over a year, politicians themselves seemed to be laughing at the phrase, even as they could not stop using it. In October 2021, Boris Johnson’s office seemed to imagine that the British public had become so thrilled by the “build back better” tagline that it was time for some riffs on the theme. At this stage, somewhere between lockdowns umpteen and nineteen, Johnson released a number of videos on his social media pages in which the slogan build back better was posted on the screen. Johnson seemed to imagine that the British public was in a playful mood around the theme. The videos included one of him spreading butter on some pieces of toast and looking at the camera and saying “build back butter.” In a second video, with the build back better motif over it, the Prime Minister could be seen unrolling a packet of fish and chips. “Mmm” he says appreciatively, before looking at the camera and saying “Build back batter.” Terms like “pathetic” and “inadequate” would fail to do justice to such political moments.

The obvious comparison to make at this stage is with great plagues in history. And though most were of a degree of seriousness that far outweighs the effects of Covid, it is a sobering consideration. Who, for instance, viewed the so-called “Spanish flu” of a century ago as an opportunity? Who would have dared in the early months or years after that pandemic ravaged the planet to see it as an opportunity to rebuild the global economy in a different way?

There are two things that are most visibly disturbing about the political reaction to all of this. The first is the desire to leapfrog over the most obvious stage in the post-pandemic era. Which should have been a clinical, careful and failsafe analysis of how this novel coronavirus managed to come out of Wuhan. The second disturbing thing is that the leap should have immediately moved on to a restructuring of the global economy and of free societies that seemed already to be sitting there, ready-made.

The extent to which that first stage was leaped over has many reasons. But one of these undoubtedly had much to do with the incumbent in the White House when the “China virus” first came into the world. President Trump was in an election year and was understandably intent on not shuttering the U.S. economy ahead of an election. He was also keen to attribute blame toward the place where he saw the virus originating. Whether the cause of the leak was a Wuhan wet market (as was early on deemed the only permissible explanation) or the Wuhan Institute of Virology (as soon seemed likelier), Trump was keen that China got the blame for releasing the virus into the world. And there was much to be said for this. Even if the leak had been an accident, it was one that the Chinese authorities did nothing to contain, allowing flights out of the region even as the first knowledge of the virus made the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) shutter flights and regions within Chinese borders.

But keen observers will have noticed that Trump was a divisive president and that what he said was the case was strenuously pushed back against by his critics when it was true as well as when it was not. Early in 2020, as Trump continued to talk about the source of the virus, his political opponents decided to claim that identifying China as the source of the virus would lead to an upsurge in anti-Chinese racism. And so Democrat Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, for instance, not only deplored the president’s language but also implored Americans to demonstrate their contempt for the president’s “racism” in a practical way. Speaker Pelosi implored people to visit their local Chinatown and show solidarity with Chinese people. In Florence, Italy, the mayor went one better in the global game of grandstanding against Trump. On February 1, 2020, Dario Nardella urged Florentines to “hug a Chinese” person to combat racism. It is not known how many Italians contracted the virus through this demonstration of Sino-fraternalism.

The point is that from the earliest stage of the virus, the opportunity to point fingers appeared to have been queered by the fact that one of the only people in the world pointing fingers was a person who most of the political class around the world were ostentatiously opposed to. Even to speak of lab leaks or Chinese culpability in those days was to sound Trump-like, a fact that played very well indeed into the public relations campaign orchestrated by the CCP.

The effectiveness of that PR campaign was visible from the very start of the virus, and showed the extent to which a swathe of the scientific, media, and political establishments in the West were already literally or figuratively in the pocket of the CCP...

Next week: an excerpt from "Sovereignty and the Nation-State" by Roger Kimball. 

Diary of an Acclimatised Beauty: Protesting

With very little planning and a last-minute text to my parents, I hopped a flight from London City Airport to Washington D.C. The reason, of course…to save the planet! With no lounges open, and the risk of delayed takeoff, I thought I should at least grab a bottle of water, and so I did. Hello Boots… one Volvic please!  Only to be reminded that London had launched  something they are calling ‘Plastic Free City’.

They sold me the water alright, but it came with stares from all the really good people—each one of them making silent commentary, and staring at the offending bottle. You’d have thought I’d been going round the globe shoving plastic straws into the brains of dolphins.

Meanwhile, they kept flaunting their refillables like they were iced-out Rolexes. Oh knock it off! I wanted to scream. My entire life is dedicated to green pursuits but when it comes to placing the mouth of a bottle that I’m going to drink from, under the spigot of the community trough—I draw the line. Besides I can’t very well save the planet if I am sick.

Every litter bit helps!

The terminal was lined with bright blue water stations, and I walked to my gate with the gurgle-gurgle of people refilling all around me.  Luckily I had only thirty minutes before boarding and so I stuffed the contraband into my bag before choosing a spot in which to loiter. The airport was mobbed and every announcement was getting on my last nerve. Just then a text from my client…

‘Can we fix this?’ Followed by a picture of the detritus from the Glastonbury Climate Festival. It was disgusting—trash and abandoned tents everywhere. It looked worse than a San Francisco public park. 

‘What is it you WANT me to do?’ I texted back.  And before he could respond I texted: ‘Headed to DC…boarding now’.

I could see he was trying to text me something else but I powered down my phone before it came through. Having found my seat I tore off the plastic wrap from my quilt and put my headphones on. I placed the wrap within easy reach of the flight attendant but despite several passes she didn’t pick it up. Why is the whole world plastic-shaming me today?

When we arrived in D.C. our gate wasn’t ready and we had to be towed in. Another delay! I know that towing vs taxiing saves quite a bit of fuel but this delay defeats the purpose of flying from City Airport!

As soon as I powered on my phone the texts started rolling in. Apparently, if you sign up for even one protest they assume it’s your lifeblood and include you in every update. I only wanted the EPA protest. What a mess.

That's telling 'em!

My driver did his best to get me right where I needed to be but it was hopeless. Pride marches, GenX, and half a dozen abortion marches. Finally, I headed toward a group in green bandanas knowing this would be my group, but it was not. This was made readily clear by a “Viva la Vulva” sign. I stepped out of the throng and asked a woman why green for pro-abortion?

‘Marta tells us that the colour of nature was chosen because it signifies life’, she said.

Abortion means  life? I dared not ask. And who was Marta? Turns out Marta is the founder of Catholics for Choice, 'a nonprofit organization that lifts up the voices of the majority of Catholics who believe in reproductive freedom'. I squinted my eyes and walked away.  So far I had accomplished exactly nothing.

Then my phone rang. It was my father.  ‘OH HEY!’ I said, yelling into my iPhone.

‘Are you at a club?’ he asked.  

‘You bloody well know I am not at a club!’ I responded. I am in Washington, protesting the EPA ruling!'  

‘Well how’s that going?’ he asked.

‘I haven’t found them yet… this is all rather confusing. But I do have a question, I got a text about the Glastonbury Climate Festival… I see electric- car chargers in the middle of… nowhere. So how do they get powered?’ 

Diesel’, Daddy replied.  

Glastonbury '22: nobody tell Greta!

Diesel??’ I shrieked. ‘How does…?’ UGH! I knew he was stifling a laugh. 

‘Yes, as you said, all very confusing. Listen, sweetheart, do you really think protesting is a good use of your time…?'

‘How would I know?  ‘I haven’t even been able to even locate my protest'.’

‘Strange that, Marxists are generally so good at organisation’.

I didn’t have the strength to fight him. It was beginning to rain and I decided to keep quiet in case he had one more zinger in him.  FINALLY I could see my EPA group and I ran to catch up with them, only to ask myself why had I bothered? I was sweating under my trench, my shoes were soaked, we all looked stupid, I felt stupid—this was stupid.

‘You win, Daddy', I said into the phone. 'This was a dumb idea. I will schedule some meetings and ask my clients how I can be useful while I’m here’. 

‘Excellent', he said. 'And you might advocate for the continued operation of Line 5 up in Michigan —it's an essential  pipeline for Eastern Canada and the U.S.’ 

‘And they will listen to me because—why?’ I asked. 

‘Because you’re the voice of reason on this. It’s a win for everyone.  And you’re still advocating for the environment - just without the Marxist slant’.

‘And if it doesn’t work?’

‘Oh, just tell them they’re all going to freeze—they don’t even have enough energy to get through next year…’

‘I don’t think they want to hear that’. 

‘Oh I disagree, Jennifer. Fear-mongering is the only thing you green-niks understand'.

I hung up and looked around. The rain was pelting harder. Everybody looked miserable. And they wonder why I never bring anyone home!

Property Rights? Not in Canada

A few years back, my wife and I were staying at a family-run country inn for a couple of weeks of R&R in the Thousand Islands, a magnet for summer visitors from around the world. Sitting on our balcony, we observed a group of Chinese tourists filing out of a tour bus, several of whom, carrying packed lunches, negotiated the rock perimeter that separated the establishment from the road, strolled across the carefully tended lawn, entered our landlady’s garden gazebo, and made themselves at home.

They proceeded to spread their lunches across the table and fell to amidst convivial chatter, oblivious to the fact that they were on clearly marked private property. Somewhat taken aback, it slowly dawned on us that they had no sense of private property, no awareness that such a concept even existed—the collectivist mindset in a nutshell, or in a gazebo. The inn’s grounds and gardens were, apparently, held in common by the people, to be enjoyed at no expense of personal investment and maintenance.

All your stuff belongs to us.

Ownership of property, as John Locke famously argued in The Second Treatise of Government, which establishes the legitimacy of “original appropriation” and rightful exclusion, is the keystone of the democratic state and the very foundation of personal liberty. Our visitors were plainly strangers to the idea, having been educated and domesticated in a totalitarian nation. What is one to make, then, of a high-placed public official in a liberal democracy who plainly shares an equivalent sensibility?

Responding to questions concerning Bill C-19, currently in its second reading before the Senate, Canada’s Justice Minister David Lametti recently claimed that “You don’t have an absolute right to own private property in Canada.” Among a series of other repressive measures, such as new luxury taxes and Climate Action Incentive payments, the bill would allow the government “to seize and cause the forfeiture and disposal of assets held by sanctioned people and entities, to support Canada’s participation in the Russian Elites, Proxies, and Oligarchs Task force in light of Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.”

The problem is not only that the bill may be in violation of international law. The problem is that the bill can be readily weaponized by the government at any time against its own citizens, thereby stealing their property via a form of nationally-implemented eminent domain, exercised arbitrarily over every facet of citizens’ lives. We can’t say we weren’t warned. In Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville pointed out that, without safeguards and a sense of “civic virtue,” democracies were prone to elevate tyrannical rulers intent on “penetrating into private life.”

Democracy in Canada is no different. Knowing the authoritarian proclivities of the Tyrant on the Hill, as prime minister Justin Trudeau is colloquially called, it’s a safe bet that the concept of a private self, and of the belief in personal property which anchors it, are not especially cherished by our Dear Leader, except insofar as it applies to him. Trudeau is more than capable of initiating Canada’s “illegal invasion” of his own country. His justice minister has merely expressed the prime minister’s deepest sentiments and controlling agenda.

Told ya.

Such perfectly demagogic statements uttered by the justice minister also perfectly encapsulate the state of affairs in what can no longer be considered a democratic nation. We may “have no absolute right to own private property,” which can be expropriated whenever the government desires, but the outright theft and suppression of citizens’ rights do not stop there. 

As Canada’s draconian Covid legislation and coercive vaccination policies ensured, we have no absolute right over our own bodies, a most intimate form of private property—Naomi Wolf’s The Bodies of Others is a must-read in this respect, especially as it pertains to Canada. We also have no absolute right over our own opinions, which can be whimsically banned under Bill C-36 that would legislate against “hate speech,” as conveniently defined by the authorities. We have no absolute right to our bank accounts and financial assets, once regarded as an inalienable form of private property, which can be illegally frozen at the government’s discretion, as occurred in the aftermath of the Truckers Convoy. We have no absolute right to our Charter freedoms, which, as we have learned to our cost, can be ignored or suspended at will. 

Parliament itself has become something of a joke, acting as a pedigreed club in which substantive issues affecting the lives and livelihoods of citizens will not be seriously discussed. It appears that we have no absolute right through the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act to examine dodgy and controversial government documents and orders leveraged against citizens, which are increasingly sequestered under the chevron of confidentiality and solicitor-client privilege. Senator Claude Carignan unavailingly chided the evasive and supercilious deputy prime minister Chrystia Freeland in special committee treating of the Emergencies Act, frivolously invoked to suppress the Truckers’ anti-vaccine protest: “We need information and documents, not a figure skating show.”

As Rex Murphy pungently quipped in a National Post column, “Granted the committee investigating the use of the Emergencies Act is only about piddling, trivial matters: Civil Liberties. Bank Accounts frozen. Arson alleged. Property seized. Police jamming the streets. Jail without bail.” The parliamentary exchange, he continues, “is proof of how far [our leaders] have drifted from the feelings and understandings of ordinary people”—though I would add it is also evidence of how far our leaders have strayed from the basic presuppositions and principles that ground the existence of a parliamentary democracy. We have no “absolute right” to expect fairness, honor or constitutional responsibility from our elected representatives.

Freeland: all your stuff belongs to us, eh?

One recalls the catchphrase adopted in essence by Claus Schwab’s World Economic Forum (WEF) planning the New World Order, envisioned as the Great Reset: “You will own nothing and you will be happy.” The first part of the statement is true, the second part not so much. More to the point, the oligarchs, technocrats, plutocrats and directors of the administrative state promoting the Great Reset will own everything and they will be exceedingly happy. We know that Justin Trudeau and Chrystia Freeland are graduates of Schwab’s Young Leaders training programs, and are fully on board with the WEF’s globalist project to remake the world in the interests of a powerful and unaccountable elite. Our absolute rights are now the government’s absolute prerogatives.

It is as if we are watching Justin Trudeau, his cabinet and his caucus strolling across our property, entering our gazebo, and spreading their lunch across the table. The irony is that we, who once assumed that we were guaranteed property rights to our dwellings, our bodies, our opinions, our bank accounts, our need for information, and our Charter and Constitutional provisions—now watch helplessly as the political tourists who roam in and out of public office in this country are now the de facto proprietors of our legal and legitimate possessions. The experiment in confiscatory policy is occurring before our eyes as our very lives are inexorably subject to official annexation. It appears that David Lametti was correct. Indeed, we have no absolute right to anything and Canada has become the world’s shining example of the greatest act of larceny in the history of the democratic state.